Further, when Lorainne Gibson interviewed some of the artists, they shared their insights on what art means to their community and its broader implications. For example, a few of the older Aborigines seem to recollect the craftsmanship of the bygone era, and the deep connection between art and the environment. The author notes that
“The Aboriginal artists from Wilcannia and Broken Hill with whom I work consider their ‘art style’ and ‘art designs’ in localised (if not always clearly specified) ways and terms encapsulated by the phrase ‘ours is lines’. It is to the localised assertions of the particularity and importance of art style and content as an explicit and spoken sign of a unique identity that my work attends–a particularity embraced by many who identify as Barkindji and who either live and/or were born in Wilcannia. This demonstrates how making and discussing art shapes ideas of what Barkindji culture is seen and thought to be and, importantly, what it is not for Barkindji people who are from, and remain, strongly connected to Wilcannia.” (Gibson, 2008, p.281)
There are several myths woven around the boomerang. In Kowanyama, for example, alongside offering useful lexical associations, the boomerang features in a key Kunjen creation myth in which the Nighthawk (another mytic creation), having employed his boomerang escapes out of a chamber ridden with excreta so as to get some breath. He leaves behind his close female relatives (especially his mother and sister) so that he can begin his journey into manhood. In other words, the boomerang is used by him as a way of identifying himself as a man who has will and agency of his own. The symbolism is more emphatic, when we consider the fact that the hollow log from which he escapes out is represented as a male penis and the spatio-temporal journey demarcates him from his associations to the female-dominated world of childhood. Towards the end of the story he makes sorcery (puri puri) and performs it as a rite of passage. He completes this passage into manhood by “hitting different trees with his boomerang until he finds a cotton tree that bleeds and undergoes a transformation into another man, who promptly fights back.” (Barker, 2000, p.86) In the English translation of the original myth, “Having fought back, the cotton tree ancestral being tells the Nighthawk that when people die they will turn, like a tree burned in a bush fire, into a skeleton of ash upon the ground”. (Barker, 2000, p.86) Just as the indigenous community is given birth by the natural environment, the man is given birth by his wielding of the boomerang. In this way Aborigines form strong sociological associations with their environment through their art and artefacts.
The salience of cultural and lifestyle artefacts like boomerangs is aptly illustrated by researcher Mary Kleinert. Focussing on specimens from late 18th century to early 20th century, she asserts these artefacts
“demonstrate a continuity of cultural form, content and meaning through (in particular) the production of carved and incised wooden artefacts and emu eggs…. For Barkindji Aboriginal people in Wilcannia and Broken Hill, there can be no argument that art has become a recognised vehicle for demonstrating continuity of practices and ‘traditions’. Furthermore, the categorization of the object world relies upon the recursive projection of ‘self’ onto the environment. The self, as Braidotti (1991) puts it, is bio-culturally gendered. The physicality of gender means that it is a fundamental and universal category, and larger and more complex differentiations rely upon the extrapolation of familiar models. Thus gender attributes will permeate all other objectifications, and every evaluation will incorporate qualities which have gender associations.” (Kleinert, 2000, p.45)